Sunday, August 17, 2014

Democratic Party of Otero at Otero County Fair

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Volunteer members of the Democratic Party of Otero County (DPOC) in Alamogordo, New Mexico, had a fun time manning the fair booth and talking to a horde of people. Stephanie DuBois, running for Otero County Commissioner District 2, had the booth right next to us so it made for a very lively group.

I got a reprimand for stepping over the blue line surrounding our booth while I was telling the people about our special free drawing for $54.00, but I kept my place after I was told the rules. By the way, that $54.00 is a day's take-home pay for one work day under the current minimum wage of $7.10. You would not believe how many people turned down a free ticket for $54.00.  We couldn't figure out if it was because we were Democrats or if they were afraid they would be bombarded with people calling or mailing them. All we asked for was name and phone number so we could call the winner.

After spending four hours in the DPOC booth, I slid over to Stephanie's booth to help her  because she was also manning a booth for the Little Red School House in Tularosa, New Mexico and it was her turn to help out there.

As I walked through the building when I was finished, I was impressed with the displays of art by the school children and the quilts made by local quilters and quilting groups.  Passing through the barns I was amazed at the beauty of the lambs, goats and, yes, even the chickens that children raised and entered in the fair.

Connie Breding and Carla Kerr doing our civic duty (Photo by Karen Hutchison)
L to R: Denise Lang, Karen Hutchison and Connie Breding hanging out in the DPOC booth trying to give $54 away
It was great fun and I'm looking forward to serving again next year.  By the way, if you live in District 2 in Otero County, New Mexico, please vote for Stephanie DuBois for guaranteed representation on the Otero County Commissioners group. She is one woman is says what she means and means what she says. It is interesting to note that a number of Republicans came by our booth and stated that they were voting for Stephanie,

This is all I have to say for now.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Red Hatters Tour the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, N.M.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

New Mexico Roadrunner Chapter members of the National Red Hat Society enjoyed a very special treat today when they took part in a tour conducted by Randy Shaw, P.E., Facility Manager of the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research  Facility (BGNDRF) in Alamogordo, New Mexico. We even had a couple of husbands tag along because they were interested in learning more.

Randy first gave a power point presentation in their spacious board room. He explained what exactly it is that they do at BGNDRF (pronounced Bigendorf) and most were surprised to learn that this is a federal research facility used by people from around the globe to test their inventions for reclaiming water. It is not a water reclamation facility as many believed. BGNDRF is facilitated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation.

On March 21, 2014 the Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge for Development announced the launch of the Desal Prize. The Desal Prize aims to incentivize the creation of a small-scale brackish water desalination technology that can provide potable water for humans, as well as water appropriate for agriculture in developing countries. They are seeking small-scale, household farming level technologies that are cost effective, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable. They are seeking desalination technology that is powered by renewable energy which will work in rural or remote regions in developing countries. The grand prize is $250,000.00. Learn more about the Decal Prize by going to

Randy took us through the indoor facility including a huge room with five or six different types of desalination taking place. We then walked outside to see the agricultural area where they are testing salt loving desert plants for possibly making animal feed. We also saw huge holding tanks for brackish water and several types of desalination projects built on the property by people to test their inventions for reclaiming water.

Several of the girls brought small bottles of tap water for Randy to test. It was interesting to find how many had far too much salt in their water. Randy said numerous wars have been fought over water rights because it is so precious and vital to agriculture and for human and animal consumption.

If you have a group who would like to experience the tour and gain the knowledge of what is going on at 500 Lavelle Road in Alamogordo, New Mexico, just call Randy Shaw at 575-443-6553 at his office or his cell phone is 575-201-8410 or you can email him at

The group went to Sunset Run Barbecue Restaurant nearby on McDonald Road where 10th Street deadends and had a wonderful luncheon afterwards.

Entrance to the BGNDRF facility and it blends beautifully with desert surroundings

Queen Ladybird (Carla) in full birthday regalia
VQ Penny and Margie arriving
L to R: Carla, Darla, Dorothy E. and Lu
Jim and Melissa Stevenson brought water to be tested from their well on Laborcita Canyon Road and it turned out to be the purest water of all those tested
VQ Penny and Queen Carla
Our host and tour guide, Randy Shaw, P.E., Facility Manager starting the power point presentation
L to R: Margie, Jim, Penny, Melissa and Carla. Have no idea of what is so funny!
L to R: Darla, Carla, Randy, Dorothy S. and Penny at start of tour
Randy explaining how water is filtered and reclaimed
L to R: Randy, Carla, Margie, Darla, Lynne, Dorothy S. Jim and Melissa listening intently
L to R: (1) 500 mg/L of  Salt, (2) Ground Water Well, (3) Ocean Water and finally Dead Sea Water. Comparisons of salt in normal city water on up to Dead Sea water.
This is the large room where experiments are being conducted by various organizations around the globe
The group listening to Randy explain what is happening in all this machinery
Randy is explaining about all the experiments taking place outside
Sign at the entrance to the property
We are now at Sunset Run Restaurant and Queen Carla is doing some chapter housekeeping chores with Monica looking on
L to R: Lynne, Jim, Melissa and Dorothy waiting on menus
Still more housekeeping chores going on
L to R: Margie, VQ Penny and Darla looking happy that they got their food order in
Our world traveler (soon to be in Paris, France) Jean
Queen Carla doing yet more housekeeping chores
VQ Penny (standing) leading the birthday song with her kazoo for Queen Carla
The food was delicious and we had a lovely event. I owe my husband an apology because I didn't take his picture and he is always so faithful to take all of ours when he is along. Thanks, Douglas A. Kerr for your usual good photography. Thanks to Randy Shaw for enlightening us as to the true purpose of that lovely building at 500 Lavelle Road in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Please give Randy a call if you are at all interested. He is very proud of his involvement here and we are fortunate to have him running this facility.

This is all I have to say for now.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Budding Artist

July 29, 2014

It seems that every other person I meet in New Mexico is an artist in one medium or another. My mother took oil painting classes at a local college in Oklahoma where she lived when she was in her late sixties and she had talent. She eventually talked my brother, Wes, into acrylic painting and he painted some beautiful Arizona desert scenes, one of which I have hanging on the wall in my living room. Wes kept telling me that I should try it because he thought I would be a good painter.

I started out taking basic drawing lessons from Penny Espiritu in her Le Spirit Art Shop on New York Avenue in Alamogordo, New Mexico. This went well so I started taking acrylic painting lessons from her and we started out painting a New Mexico sunset (they are absolutely phenomenal). She did not tell me when we began that sunsets are most difficult to paint so I plunged ahead in full confidence that I could do this.

Below is my first result. Feel free to make any constructive comments. I am, of course, still in the learning stage, but I'm determined to master this medium and go on to others. As you will note, I was not happy with the end result. I just felt the blue color was a disconnect on the clouds as well as the other mountain range. See the changes in the second painting.

"Delicious Sunset" by CCC 

"Delicious Sunset" updated by CCC
Thanks to Douglas A. Kerr, Photographer, for both shots of my first painting.

This is all I have to say for now.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Red Hatters Travel to Historic Old Mesilla, New Mexico

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Red Hat Society New Mexico Roadrunner Chapter members of Alamogordo, New Mexico traveled to Old Mesilla, NM to engage in the official Red Hat Society sport of shopping and, of course, a lovely lunch. On the way, we stopped to pick up a friend, Mildred Evascovich, who formerly lived in Alamogordo and now resides in Las Cruces, N. M.

There are a number of lovely shops displaying pottery, jewelry, paintings, clothing, shoes, etc. etc. Prices are reasonable and we took great advantage by buying a number of items. One I really like is a sculpture of a roadrunner bird and I just had to have it. Others bought shoes, clothing and paintings.

After a short rest in the center of the Plaza, we went to the Double Eagle Restaurant which has been placed on the United States National Register of Historic Places by the Department of the Interior. In 1970, Robert O. Anderson (born in Roswell, N.M.) bought the building and turned it into a restaurant. He was president of Atlantic Richfield Oil. He and interior designer , John Miegs, brought in all the crystal, art and antiques. Anderson named the restaurant after money and the $20 gold piece was called the Double Eagle.

In 1984, C. W. "Buddy" Ritter and his wife, Margaret became the owners and they have added to the extensive collection of turn of the century art and antiques.

At the Double Eagle entry you will walk through the post-Civil War 1,000 pound cast iron gilded gates to a shaded entry way to the massive antique oak front door. The lobby sports a littering, gilded, baccarat crystal chandelier hanging from the pressed tin ceiling. To the left is the 30 foot hand-carved oak and walnut Eastlake style bar framed with four Corinthian columns in gold leaf. The back bar is illuminated by two Imperial French floral "coronas": each over 5 feet tall, with 23 lighted brass flowers, some of which have blue or white Lalique crystal rosette shades. Hanging above the bar are two magnificent, classic French Baccarat crystal chandeliers measuring seven feet tall and three feet wide. The ceiling is of highly decorated pressed tin accented with 18 karat gold.

One massive oil work hanging on the wall inside is "Stacey", circa 1900-1910 which came from the estate sale of the notorious New Mexico madam, Silver City Millie. Millie, finally forced out of "business", held her estate sale well before her death. Buddy Ritter thought there might be some items of interest and convinced his reluctant wife to drive to Silver City with him after he told her the sale was in a warehouse and not the house of ill repute. Still, she just couldn't imagine that woman having anything she would want in her home or the Double Eagle. As they walked into the warehouse, Millie called out in her loud rambunctious voice, "Buddy Ritter! I would know you anywhere! You look just like your grandfather!"

Mrs. Ritter simply turned, walked outside, got into the car, locked the doors and stared straight ahead. Mr. Ritter, though stunned himself at the reception, purchased several items for the Double Eagle. It was an extremely long and silent trip on the return home.

The Lew Wallace Salon was named after a Territorial Governor who wrote the famous novel "Ben Hur". Several art works adorn the walls and there is an 1857 map of New Mexico and Arizona showing Mesilla as the Capitol of Arizona with both territories extending to California.

The restaurant is massive and there are numerous rooms, The Gadsden Room, The Billy The Kid Patio, The Maximilian Room and the Isabela Ballroom, which I won't write about here. However, there is one other room that should be mentioned:

The Carlotta Salon - The Ghost Room

Named for Marie Charlotte, born in 1840, a Princess of Belgium. She was the wife of Maximilian, Archduke of Austria. In 1864, Napoleon sent troops to Mexico to support the installation of Maximilian and Marie Charlotte as Emperor Maximilian and Empress Carlotta of Mexico. Their reign lasted until 1867 when Maximilian  was executed and Carlotta was exiled to Belgium.

There are two oval portraits on one wall, of the original owners of this home, Senor and Senora Maes. It was a home from 1849 until the 1960's, housing some of the Mesilla Valley's most prominent families. The Maes Family were import/exporters in Santa Fe and, after the Mexican-American War of 1846-1847 and the conquest and confiscation of the northern half of Mexico to be the western half of the United States, they moved south to help found Mesilla as a permanent Settlement. With such a large house, there were many servants, one of which was a teenage girl named Inez. The oldest Maes boy was named Armando and he fell in love with Inez. Senora Maes was adamant that her son should not marry a maid. She had planned to make a marriage for him with another wealthy family in Chihuahua City or maybe even Mexico City.

Senora Maes fired Inez, sent her from the house and forbade Armando from ever seeing Inez again, but love will find a way. One day Senora Maes came home unexpectedly, from a trip and found Armando and Inez entwined in Armando's bedroom - now the Caroltta Salon. She was so outraged, she grabbed a pair of sewing shears, attacking Inez and stabbing her to death. In the struggle, she accidentally stabbed Armando. He spoke one word "Inez" before slipping into a coma and he died three days later.

It is said that the ghosts of the young lovers haunt the Carlotta Salon and the restaurant to this day. If the restaurant isn't overly busy, someone will usually take you into the salon and tell the story. Today, it was very busy and a lady who had just heard the story, Blanca from San Antonio, Texas, related it to the Red Hatters as we stood around the large elegantly set dining table in the middle of the room.

Before I forget to mention it, the food is delicious, reasonably priced, and very well prepared.

L to R: VQ Penny, Alice, Margie, friend Mildred, Dorothy E. and Darla taking a shopping break in the plaza

Mildred and Dorothy E. in the Double Eagle. It turns out that they've known each other for years.
Margie and Alice. Margie is always creating new fun hats.
VQ Penny, our birthday girl in July.
L to R: Darla, Margie and Alice waiting on that delicious food to appear
L to R: Mildred, Dorothy E. and VQ Penny
VQ Penny and Queen Ladybird (Carla) (Photo by Darla Shelley)
Blanca, a teacher from San Antonio, Texas relating the ghost story

Hope you enjoy reading some of the history of the Double Eagle Restaurant. To learn even more, their web address is:  Thanks to the Double Eagle establishment for their comprehensive brochure which was of tremendous help in writing this blog today.

This is all I have to say for now.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Red Hatters Attend IMAX Theater and lunch at Carino's

Saturday, July 12, 2014

New Mexico Roadrunner Chapter members of the Red Hat Society gathered at the IMAX Theater in Alamogordo, New Mexico on Saturday, July 12, 2014 to view "Tornado Alley". It was indeed spectacular and made one feel as if they were in the middle of a tornado. We learned about storm chasers and all the safety creations they built to keep their people safe as they filmed and experienced these nature made phenomena. It was definitely a relief to experience this horrendous occurrence in a theater and not in real life.

Afterwards, we drove to Carino's Italian Restaurant in Alamogordo for a lovely lunch.

A Starcharger rocket parked near the IMAX Theater waiting to be installed on the grounds of the New Mexico Museum of Space History
Mike and Marian Ruth. Mike wanted to see the film and he fit right in with the group.
Alice, digging for her money to pay for her ticket
L to R: Margie, the ticket seller, and VQ Penny
So happy to see Lu felt well enough to meet us at the restaurant
L to R: Donna C., Margie, Alice and VQ Penny enjoy the bread and oil
Miriam and Mike
There were a couple of group photos which did not turn out because the setting was wrong on my camera so I was there, just not in a picture this time. It was an enjoyable outing and we determined that we will drive to Old Mesilla (near Las Cruces) on our next event to shop and dine. We also sang and kazoo'd VQ Penny celebrating her birthday.

This is all I have to say for now.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Alamogordo, NM 4th of July Parade

Friday, July 4, 2014

Stephanie DuBois, a resident of Tularosa, New Mexico, is running for Otero County Commissioner of District 2 and had a spot in the July 4th Parade in Alamagordo. I'm not in her district so I can't vote for her, but wanted to show my support by marching in the parade. Chris Jones, another loyal Democrat also joined us marching and handing out candy to the children.

Stephanie's father, 93 years young Stephen DuBois who is a Pearl Harbor Survivor, rode along in the decorated van with her.

I have no idea how many units were in the parade, but from my point of view, it looked fairly long and there were many families along the parade route waving small American flags and applauding. It was a great parade for a town the size of Alamogordo.

L to R: Carla Kerr, Stephanie DuBois and Chris Jones

Dungan Fire Department and they do love serenading everyone with their sirens and bells
Stephanie and Carla decorating the van
These must be the most patient horses in the world-look at all that paint!
Another shot of the horses-they were really quite beautiful
There was a huge contingent of bikers in patriotic decor
This is a particularly spectacular arrangement
A shot of our decorating skill
Adorable girl with her mother waiting for the parade to start
Stephanie just couldn't resist putting this sign on the back!
One of many old cars in the parade
I'm ready to roll with my bag of candy
The parade is moving out
We have limited photos this year because my darling Doug was not feeling well and I am just thankful he came long enough to take these shots.

Later in the evening, we sat on our front sidewalk and watched the official fireworks display at the New Mexico Museum of Space History which is about two miles from us and our house is at about the same elevation so this is a perfect spot to view the display. The fireworks were beautiful.

This is all I have to say for now.